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EDS in Transition | May 2024 Updates

May 7, 2024 Transition News
EDS in Transition | May 2024 Updates

Dear Friends,

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying Spring.

As May begins, I find myself approaching the conclusion of my tenure as the President of Episcopal Divinity School. With this part of my journey coming to an end, I find myself reflecting over the last seven years. As I look back, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together as an EDS community. I look forward to what the next chapter in the life of EDS brings. I am confident that EDS will remain a beacon of excellence for theological and transformative ministerial formation, deeply rooted in God's love and justice.

The mission of EDS perseveres even in this season of change. Below, you will find updates on the work of the search committee in identifying the next EDS president. Additionally, we have highlighted noteworthy events at the upcoming General Convention, podcast interviews with leading voices, and a collaborative initiative with the Iona Collaborative on social justice and the Bible. All of these underscore the enduring impact of EDS's work.

As we journey through this season of change and renewal, let us stand together in prayer and solidarity. Together, let us walk forward with hope, courage, and an unwavering commitment to the values that define EDS.

Faithfully,
The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas


Transition News

Strategic Planning Update

The search for the next President of EDS is well underway. The closing date for applications was April 12 and the Search Committee has been reviewing candidate portfolios. Members of the Committee conducted initial interviews with candidates between April 22-30. After completing these interviews, the Committee has now moved on to the important stage of making decisions about final candidates to be interviewed in-person.

EDS May 2024 Updates

  • New Website: EDS’ new website is live! Visit eds.edu for transition news, upcoming events, and more.
  • Alum Resources: Resources for EDS alums, including transcripts, can be found here.
  • Alum Facebook Page: EDS has launched a new alum Facebook page! Click here to join.
  • New Address: EDS has relocated its office to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Our new address is Episcopal Divinity School, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025. Click here to read the press release.
  • New Phone: EDS’ new general phone number is (646) 713-0845. This line will direct you to extension numbers for staff.
  • Social media: EDS can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn. Be sure to follow if you aren’t already!
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions regarding Episcopal Divinity School's transition from Union Theological Seminary.

EDS at General Convention

EDS at General Convention Schedule

EDS looks forward to connecting with alums, colleagues and friends from around the church at this summer’s General Convention in Louisville, KY. In addition to exhibiting, EDS will host a reception celebrating Interim President Kelly Brown Douglas on the eve of her retirement and a lunch for the EDS community. The lunch program will recognize President Douglas and former EDS professor Kwok Pui Lan for their lasting contributions to EDS and the field of theological education. EDS alums Lydia Bucklin ’15 and Christopher Montella ’15 will host the event.

Register to attend the lunch here.

On June 25 at 1pm, we will host a book signing with Dr. Kwok Pui Lan at EDS’ General Convention exhibit booth. We are excited to host this amazing theologian and celebrate her most recent book, The Anglican Tradition from a Postcolonial Perspective.

Podcast Announcement: Leading Voices: EDS at General Convention

Our podcast is back! Throughout the month of June, EDS will launch our new podcast mini-series Leading Voices: EDS at General Convention. The podcast will feature Interim President Douglas in conversation with a range of bishops, including several presiding bishop candidates, as they address the pressing challenges facing the church today and the role of theological education and formation in equipping ministers to face these challenges. The episodes will be available across streaming platforms. Stay tuned for more information!

God Talk, Justice, and the Church: What do they have to do with each other?

"What does Athens have to Do With Jerusalem?" This question was asked some 1800 years ago as theologians and ministers wrestled with the relationship between the academy and the church. The question is particularly relevant today as the church seeks to prepare students for transformative, justice-grounded ministries in an inequitable, unjust world.

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas and the Rev. Dr. Charles Halton, the two most recent winners of Louisville University's Grawemeyer Award in Religion and priests of the church, will discuss theology's power for forming our emerging leaders, and our whole church, today.

Join EDS and the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky for this conversation at General Convention on June 24, 2024 at 7pm.

EDS News

Spirituality and Social Justice: “Two Wings of the Same Bird”

On April 13, 2024, Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, Professor of Systematic Theology at Emory’s Candler School of Theology, joined EDS Interim President the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas to co-lead “Spirituality for Social Justice,” a day-long seminar that explored the critical role that spiritual practice plays in the work of social justice.

“When we talk about spirituality for social justice I think of not simply that sustaining spirit, but the transforming spirit—that which transforms, that which expands our moral imaginary in such a way that we can understand more broadly, expansively, and inclusively the meaning of justice itself,” shared President Douglas.

Click here to read the full story.


EDS to Partner with the Iona Collaborative

In Spring 2025, EDS will partner with Seminary of the Southwest’s Iona Collaborative to create a unique course offering for their network of bi-vocational Episcopal leaders (both lay and ordained). This collaboration allows EDS to extend its educational reach to bi-vocational pastoral leaders nationwide, in alignment with our mission of providing excellent, justice-focused theological education.

This online, non-credit, continuing education course will focus on biblical interpretation as it pertains to a particular social justice issue. Through this course offering, EDS hopes to further equip lay and clergy leaders to faithfully address pressing societal concerns within their communities.

EDS is looking for scholars interested in developing and teaching this course for the Iona Collaborative.

Click here to learn more about this collaboration and our request for proposals.

Alum Corner

In Memoriam: The Rev. Canon Dr. Edward W. Rodman, 1942-2024
Written by The Rev. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook

Ed Rodman graduated from Episcopal Divinity School in 1967; the school later granted him a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) degree. After serving in five consecutive administrations in the Diocese of Massachusetts, he returned to the school as the John Seeley Stone Professor of Pastoral Theology and Urban Ministry. Ed Rodman was a committed activist, strategist, community organizer, and dedicated theological educator. His motivation for coming to EDS was to equip future generations of religious leaders to work for justice, confront racism and other forms of oppression, and advocate for the marginalized.

In the weeks since his death, after reading the testimonies of the EDS diaspora — students, colleagues, and friends— the adjective most used for Ed Rodman’s legacy is “transformative.” Ed Rodman’s legacy lives on in us; we honor him as we embody justice, compassion, and reconciliation and carry it forward to the next generations. As a friend of Ed’s from seminary days at EDS reflected: “But the fact is, he was unique as we are all, and his special gift was knowing that he didn’t have to prove it. But we know.”

Click here to read the full tribute to The Rev. Canon Dr. Edward W. Rodman, 1942-2024.

To read the obituary on Episcopal News Service, which includes information on the funeral service, click here.

The Philadelphia Eleven Film License Recipients

In an effort to make the film more broadly accessible, EDS is proud to sponsor licenses for the following alums to screen the The Philadelphia Eleven in their local communities:

  • Karen Meridith, Virginia
  • The Rev. Paula J. Toland, New Jersey
  • Ann-Marie Montague, North Carolina
  • The Rev. Dr. Lucretia Mann, Maryland
  • The Rev. Elaine Howlett Breckenridge, Washington

Many thanks to all who applied for a film license and please stay tuned for future opportunities to partner.


Alum Spotlight: The Rev. Sarah van Gulden ’07


The Rev. Sarah van Gulden ’07 currently works as the General Manager of The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. She is also General Manager of their retreat center, Adelynrood Retreat and Conference Center, located in Byfield, MA.

“From the formal classes and informal conversations with professors and my peers [at EDS], I learned that discerning one’s vocation is not the search for some ultimate, finite goal. Rather it is the ongoing process of remaining open to the possibilities, especially those impossible possibilities,” shared the Rev. van Gulden.

Click here to read the full alum spotlight.

Join us on Zoom every third Thursday at 1pm ET for Connect: Monthly Gathering of EDS Alums, where we will connect with one another, hear about the diverse contexts EDS alums are serving in their work and ministry, and stay up to date on all things EDS!

The next Connect session will take place on May 16, 2024 at 1pm ET.

Registration is required—click here to sign up!

As EDS enters this transformative strategic planning process, we are confident that together we will shape a future that honors our rich heritage while embracing the ever-evolving needs of theological education. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting developments ahead!

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